Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just f'n train, just get f'n strong. Idiotic.

Boy the internet makes my head hurt sometimes.

Over the last three years I've written a ton on this blog about the lessons I've learned through over 2 decades of being under the bar.  I do so because I enjoy it.  Otherwise, I suppose you could make a case for me being clinically insane.

My entire paradigm regarding training is very simple.

Be strong, be in shape.

Strong....In shape


How ones goes about doing that, is entirely up to them.  Each person has to decide upon a training methodology that speaks to them and that they buy into.  Without a buy in on a training methodology by said trainee, results will always be less than optimal.

Notice that I write a "methodology" and not a "routine".  I have written thousands of routines in my life.  Tens of thousands more than likely.  In the end, one is really no better than the other without the belief that it will work.  More often than not, younger and less experienced lifters put too much belief into "routines", rather than a philosophy.

An ideology, or philosophy or set of rules about training is something that those routines are based around.  To sort of quote Thulsa Doom, it's the wellspring from which they (routines) flow.  Routines can come and go, but a training philosophy based on principles that were given birth from blood, callouses, sweat, and vomit will always produce results, and stand the test of time.

Probably could have created a sound training philosophy


I didn't create this paradigm all by my lonesome.  I learned it from guys like Coan, Kaz, Yates, Karwoski, Leistner, etc so forth and so on.  The synonymous ideas that I found in all of these mens training was easily recognizable.

Train hard
Be consistent 
Get stronger
Keep what works, throw out what doesn't 

Last week I read on a board where some 22 year old do-nothing fucktard said I was a "fucking idiot" because he didn't like the way I trained.  I'm no chest thumper, but said fucktard also cannot bench press what I overhead press.  Such is the internet and it's minions of loud mouthed do nothings that get free reign to spout off in such ways.  

More importantly though, I thought, what is it about the way I train that would make me an idiot?  The same things that made Coan or Karwoski idiots?  Because the evolution of my training and my training beliefs and philosophies are rooted in the principles that those guys lived and trained by.  Train your fucking balls off and do what needs to be done to get more weight on the bar.  If this training methodology makes me an idiot, then get me my dunce hat and sit me in the fucking corner.

I've read where other guys wrote that I'm dogmatic.  This also makes me tilt my head in confused dog fashion and go.....errrr?

WTF is you talking about?


I've trained using just about every method, split, routine, whatever that you can think of.  No different than giving intermittent fasting a try as I am doing now, I am always open to new ideas.  Instead of bantering about them on the net about how they will work or won't work, I actually DO.  This is because, as I wrote in my article about winning with anecdotal evidence, I don't give a fuck about scientific evidence regarding training and such bullshit.  My built in bullshit detector is pretty sharp at this point in my training life.  I will give something a go if it seems plausible, then give my own opinion about it in regards to how it worked for me afterwards.  This way, I have first hand experience rather than performing mental masturbation on the internet about why shit will or won't work.  Again, if trying something out makes me an idiot, sign me the fuck up for that roller coaster ride with no seat belts.

 Often times I will say, that my writing could convey a sense of dogmatism because I may not articulate a point as well as I could have.  If I say something sucks, 99% of the time, it means that I tried it and it sucked for me.  I know guys that say box squats helped their raw squat.  Few and far between yes, but I do know some.  I know some guys that say three board presses helped their bench.  Again, few and far between but I do know some.  They are generally the exception however, and I don't use exceptions to create rules.

You line up 100 hot women and give them the choice between dating a wealthy investment baker with an underwear model body or a fat guy that works down at the 7-11, and 99 of them will choose the investment baker.  Just because one of them chooses the fatty doesn't support your theory that hot women like fat 7-11 workers.  It just means there will always be exceptions.  Don't use exceptions as the basis for building a philosophy around.  It will fail the majority of the time.

Sorry fat guy, you're not getting any.....


Most people want to believe they are unique special snowflakes, but the fact is, we are all pretty similar.  This is why certain principles of strength training have stood the test of time, and people continue to use them to get better, and to get stronger.


Train hard
Be consistent
Get stronger  
Keep what works, throw out what doesn't 

The key for YOU, in that paradigm, is the last one.  You should eventually settle on some methods that work for you, and speak to your inner lifter, and they should become the foundation of your entire training methodology.  

The other ones are not negotiable.  I don't know anyone that got stronger without training hard and being consistent in what they did.  This means not changing routines every other week, or going from one training "system" to another month to month.  You can't give an educated opinion about a training method, without going to school on it.  And I don't know any schools that offer you a degree in a week or two that carry any sort of prestige.  

Where you get your learn on is up to you.  It's perfectly fine to adopt a training philosophy that comes from a more experienced lifter or strength athlete, then massage those ideas to fit who you are, and what your goals are.  My powerlifting training is very similar to that of Coan and Karwoski, however I learned after many tries, that 12 week peaking cycles were just too fucking long for me.  So I shortened them.  I took what worked, but then altered it a bit.  This is ok.  Just don't bastardize something until you give it a FAIR shot as it is written.  This drives me nuts.  

In the end, routines won't win.  Philosophies and methodologies will.  Over time if you don't develop one for yourself, you will flop about searching for the "next great routine" that will get you over that proverbial training hump you have been stuck at.  When it doesn't, you'll say the routine was shit, or that you "need to focus on weak points" and such shit.  When all along, it's been your inability to stick with what works and impatience that keeps you stuck in a training sludge.  In the meantime, I'll maintain my status as fucking idiot and slowly get better.    







18 comments:

  1. It's cliche but haters gonna hate.

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  2. One of the best things a lifter can do to keep their attitude and motivation up is to just stay the hell away from Internet message boards.

    With some of the guys on some of the forums I used to frequent, given the way they'd talk I'd form a mental image of them as basically a shaved gorilla. But then I check their public logs and find out they're lifting not much more than I am (or in some cases, even less). Kind of embarrassing.

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  3. What I see on the forums reminds me more of a religious conversion. "I'm going to start training on X system" goes the declaration. Then, as part of the "right of passage", the convert must renounce publicly all other methods as being fruitless.Probably worst on the HIT boards, but I see it everywhere. It's kind of sad, really.
    I've used 2 of your "idiotic" principles to PR on chins recently. I used a long series of "80% sessions" with an "over warm-up" to make 26 chins as a 200 lb. 52 year old, beating the 24 chins I made at only 160 pounds(and only 22 years old). Yeah, I'm kinda jacked about it!

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    1. That's fucked up. I can't hit 26 chins. Awesome job Frank. Damn.

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  4. I like taking an idea/philosophy/training methodology, tweaking it with my experience as a lifter with 20+ years under the bar, using what works and shit canning what doesn't. I'll follow this as long as I'm seeing tangible gains, usually 8 to12 weeks, then I'll switch things up as I see fit. Love seeing what really strong guts like you and Jamie are doing as well as guys like Jim, Clint and a handful of other respected, educated lifters are doing. Fucktards like those on internet forums are a waste of my time. Great post.

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  5. We have developed a society of entitlement-twats that want immediate and massive results/gratification. I think people in general try to turn a blind eye to the amount of hard work & effort that go into doing anything.

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  6. Just got done running the big 15, LOVED it, I do not compete in shows or anything, but when I played college football we also did max reps at 225, my most then was 26-27 reps I also weighed 30-40 pounds heavier at the time, I did 30 yesterday (PR), and felt pretty solid.

    SO....I guess I'm getting at as far as training now, what would your next step be? Start the program over from that estimated max, or something else? Any help would be appreciated, just kinda stuck on what to do for next step on whether or not I should start another go at it.

    The BNP with wide grips are brutal as well, but just another thing to try an get better at!

    Thanks for the help man, hope the new diet is going well!

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  7. The call for a training philosophy is a common one, and the intelligent lifters and coaches will generally follow this with a consideration of how each person will have some differences. Hence, different methodologies are utilized to great success by different individuals.

    I believe that this skips a level of the lifter's thought which is often hinted at, but never fully expressed. In your post, the mention of "buy in" hints at it.

    A proper expression for this might be psychology and/or physiology. Philosophy strives to be universal, while psychology is intensely personal, experiential, and subjective, but essentially applies many of the philosophical concepts.

    Nietzsche often referred to himself as a psychologist as well as a philosopher, and this was in large part due to his contrasting interests in different types of people and a universal values system. He thought that a single philosophy of values could soon be created that encompassed the massively differing ways that people placed value upon the world.

    This is why the many articles speaking about training "philosophies" sound so damned similar. The basic philosophies of lifting can be learned from decent coaches and lifters in a relatively short period of time. Learning how these apply to one's own person, however, is massively more involved.

    Philosophy, in this case, would be based around increasing weight/sets/reps in compound movements, recovering properly, good form, and taking some care to address injuries. Frequency, volume, variety of lifts, and the like tend to be more subjective, even when many factors are controlled for.

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    1. I really wish there was some kind of certification exam that people had to pass before being allowed to use the words "philosophy" or "psychology" in a sentence. And that they kept Nietzsche's works locked up in a restricted section of libraries...

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    2. Yes, yes someone mentions Nietzche and it is attacked as hackery.

      I don't think citing Wittgenstein, Pascal's "The Spirit of Geometry," or the field of critical analytics would have carried over much, despite the potential for nerd points. However, the general notion of these sources is my point - that there are supposedly certain universal rules, but that everything can only be worked out via subjective assumptions.

      Do you accept that "training philosophy" is a halfway decent term? If not, then tough - common usage has already determined that people vaguely understand this. It's a rough enough use of philosophy that I think we can generally appropriate psychology in the same manner.

      If you have a better term to complement "philosophy" than "psychology" in this situation I'd be happy to hear it.

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  8. Paul, I'm interested to know your thoughts on whether lifting as a passion is associated with people with other talents/interests.
    two things have sparked this question - firstly, i am a drummer and i know wendler is, and i have a feeling that you have mentioned playing before?
    secondly, i am at university in england and most of my friends that are into lifting all study economics/science something like that (i am a mathematician) and hardly any study English lit, History etc..
    bud

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    1. Bud - Interesting question.

      I do know that all of the lifters that I hang out with or talk to most frequently, we seem to have some level of something in common, but it's hard put a finger on it.

      If I had to I'd say it's some form of desire to constantly get better. Sure, there are exceptions but it seems to be the case.

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  9. On the forums and in the gym, you see a ton of guys whose physiques and numbers never change over time. Yet, these same people "know" every single thing about training and will talk at length about these "theories". Obsessing over little details is what holds these people back. I wonder if it wasn't for muscle mags and the internet would these same people even train at all? The old timers had the iron call to them, they did what they wanted and didn't waste any energy on mental masturbation.

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  10. Don't feel too bad Paul, you've only got one fucktard calling you an idiot. Jamie (C&P) has an entire forum thread over on Bodybuilding.com that is dedicated to telling the world how much of a steroid-laden, childish loudmouthed asshole he is...ridiculous!(Although he is an asshole, and we all love him for it).

    But I'm sure, in time, enough pencil-necked bro-dudes will read your blog, get all bent out of shape at the fact that you DARE to challenge that their dropset, bodypart split is not the greatest program ever to get HEEEUUGE!... and they'll dedicate a thread on that stupid site to calling you a loud mouthed, steriod-laden dick as well...ha ha.

    As to my thoughts of your blog, I'll quote Rocco with his dying breath: "You can't stop...you gotta get outta here...DON'T EVER STOP..."

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    1. Oh I've got plenty of fucktards talking shit, I REALLY don't care. What I thought was funny was that someone called me an idiot because they didn't like the way that I train. I thought that was clever.

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